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What is ketamine, the drug partially responsible for the death of Matthew Perry?

His death has shocked many Friends fans around the world. On October 28, the famous actor Matthew Perry, who played the role of the inimitable Chandler Bing in the cult series, was found dead by his assistant in a jacuzzi at his home in Los Angeles.

Late last week, the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office said his death, ruled “accidental,” was largely caused by the “acute effects” of ketamine.

It is a fast-acting anesthetic used in medical or veterinary surgery intramuscularly or intravenously. Health product reference site Vidal states that ketamine produces a specific anesthesia “characterized by deep and prolonged analgesia, loss of consciousness that results in the patient passing out rather than actual sleep,” and “preservation of pharyngeal and laryngeal reflexes.”

“Ke” is often present at parties.

It is these properties, particularly the dissociative ones, that attract many consumers outside of the medical context. Called “Ke” or “Special K” at parties, this molecule, developed in the 1960s, was originally known only to privileged hippies, and in recent years has become a much more regular part of numerous “teufs” and rave parties.

“It works by preventing the brain from receiving any more nerve pain messages,” states the Canadian government website, which clarifies that it is “often used as a date rape drug” due to its disassociating effect. body and mind.

The feeling of detachment, its euphoric effect, the hallucinations and the cotton-wool intoxication it causes attracts many partygoers, who often use it in addition to other drugs such as ecstasy, especially at the end of the evening or during the “after party”. maximize its effect. Others also use it in chemsex, the practice of using drugs to intensify sexual intercourse.

40 euros per gram

This drug, which cannot be detected by saliva tests, is closely monitored by health authorities. In the illegal trade it is sold in powder form for about 40 euros per gram. It is consumed most of the time by sucking through the nose, but is also sometimes mixed with liquid before consumption. When healthcare professionals use it, they administer it in liquid form.

Consuming high doses of ketamine can also lead to complete loss of consciousness and inability to move, called a “K-Hole.” Some evidence even relates to near-death experiences (NDEs).

It is a psychoactive substance that can lead to dependence, may pose neuropsychiatric risks, cognitive impairment, and its regular use can seriously affect the bladder and kidneys.

Source: Le Parisien

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